Janet Maslin recently reviewed in the New York Times Michael Connelly’s and John Grisham’s new novels, which came out about the same time. She points out “coincidences,” including Grisham’s creation of a character “dangerously similar to Mickey Haller.” Yes, indeed: Connelly some time ago created Mickey Haller, best known as the Lincoln Lawyer, whose place of business is a Lincoln Town Car. As Maslin points out, Grisham’s Sebastian Rudd “has more in common with Mickey than he ought to.” He certainly does. Rudd’s place of business is in a van, and he seems to be a down market Mickey. As Maslin writes, these “rogue lawyers have overlapping M.O.s.” They certainly do.
Despite this “coincidence,” Maslin thinks the Grisham book is one of his better recent books. She points out that his more recent books have included “long, speechy harangues.” Nevertheless, despite its flaws, she likes Grisham’s Rogue Lawyer better than Connelly’s new book, The Crossing. Maslin is not a Harry Bosch fan. She sees Connelly’s Harry Bosch as “dogged,” Connelly’s narration “blunt,” and opines that Connelly is “not a stylist.” She goes on to declare (with faint praise), that Connelly “shares some of Grisham’s storytelling skills.” She sums up her review: Mr. Grisham “has taken a step in an intriguing new direction” (yes, new to Mr. Grisham, but not new to all of us who read Connelly’s Lincoln Lawyer). I read the latest Bosch book, and as always enjoyed it. I started the Grisham book, but continued to be put off by its “coincidences,” and have never finished it.